Autumn is a fantastic time for food and drink. The cooler weather ushers in savory flavors, warming spices, fresh apples and cider and of course, pumpkins.
You can find pumpkin flavors everywhere this fall, from specialty coffees to baked goods, as well as pumpkin beer, pumpkin liqueur and pumpkin spice-flavored vodka.
Real pumpkin puree also makes a great base for cocktails, as does roasted butternut squash and even eggplant. Slightly savory, spicy cocktails are perfect for the season.
There are tons of great fall cocktail recipes out there, but we’ve narrowed it down to eight that we think capture the essence of autumn. (It’s really nine because we couldn’t resist showing the photo of the Chocolate Pumpkin Martini with drizzled chocolate and a cinnamon sugar rim coutesy of McGillin’s Olde Ale House in Phildelphia.) Enjoy!
1 ½ oz. Bulleit or Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 oz. Pumpkin puree (measured in a jigger)
3 Segments tangerine with peel
½ oz. Grand Marnier
½ oz. Brown sugar simple syrup*
Muddle tangerine pieces in glass with brown sugar simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients and ice and shake. Garnish with nutmeg.
*To make brown sugar simple syrup, mix two parts brown sugar with one part water. Bring to a boil, then let cool before mixing it into the drink.
1 oz. Roasted eggplant puree
2 oz. Bacardi 8-year aged rum
¾ oz. Lillet Blanc
½ oz. Vanilla demerara sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
White of 1 egg
Combine ingredients in mixing glass. Shake without ice, then shake with ice. Double strain and garnish with eggplant crisp.
Mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardna, creative director at Henry a Liquor bar in the Hudson New York Hotel, created this cocktail.
1 ½ oz. Glen Grant Major’s Reserve Scotch whisky
¾ oz. Fino sherry
½ oz. Lemon juice
¼ oz. Superfine sugar
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with club soda and a pinch of salt.
The mixologists at The Drink in Brooklyn, NY, created this recipe.
1 oz. Chamucos Reposado tequila
1 oz. Leopold’s American Orange Liqueur
4 oz. Mulled cider, heated
Combine tequila and orange liqueur in snifter. Add warmed cider and garnish with orange zest.
The mixologists at Kachina Southwestern Grill in Denver created this recipe.
1 ½ oz. Wild Turkey 81 Bourbon
1 tablespoon Fig jam
¼ oz. Orange liqueur
½ oz. Fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an old fashioned glass over fresh ice.
The mixologists at Campari America created this recipe.
The Sherry Cobbler
¼ cup Fresh mixed berries
2 oz. Sherry
¾ oz. Orange Curacao
Muddle berries in mixing glass. Add sherry and Orange Curacao. Shake and fine strain into glass of crushed ice. Garnish with berries, orange slice and smacked mint sprig.
The mixologists at the Hawthorne in Boston created this cocktail.
Chamomile High Club
2 oz. Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
½ oz. Apricot liqueur
½ oz. Chamomile syrup*
¾ oz. Fresh lemon juice
1 Dash Angostura bitters
2 oz. IPA
Tarragon stalk, for garnish
Combine first five ingredients in a shaker with ice; shake and top with IPA. Add one big ice cube; garnish with fresh tarragon.
*To make chamomile syrup, combine 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated or raw sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and cook until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add 1 cup fresh chamomile blossoms, allowing mixture to steep for 15 minutes. Strain out chamomile blossoms through a fine sieve.
Kate Bolton of Maven in San Francisco created this recipe.
Kilbeggan Autumn Elixir
1 1/2 Parts Kilbeggan Irish whiskey
1/2 part Yellow Chartreuse
1/2 part Lemon juice
3/4 part Honey syrup (2 parts honey, 1 part water)
Muddle blackberries with honey syrup in a shaker base. Add the rest of the ingredients and ice, shake and double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with lemon zest and blackberries.
Recipe by Anna Walsh, of the Long Island Cocktail Bar in Cork, Ireland.